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Stresemann's Bush Crow - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Vernon Lundy
Southern Ethiopia, April 2007

Alternative names: Bush-Crow; Ethiopian Bushcrow; Abyssinian Bushcrow; Zavattariornis

Zavattariornis stresemanni


28cm. An unmistakable corvid:

  • Pale grey plumage, almost white on forehead and cream-white on throat and chest
  • Glossy black tail and wings
  • Naked bright blue skin around and in front of eye, pinkish behind eye
  • Brown eye
  • Black bill with culmen decurving to pointed tip
  • Black legs

Sexes similar, juveniles are slightly duller.


Endemic to Ethiopia where found around the towns of Yabello, Meega and Arero.
Fairly common but has an extremely small range and therefore classified as endangered.


This is a monotypic species which is the only member of the genus Zavattariornis.
DNA analysis confirmed the inclusion in the Corvidae and revealed the genus Podoces as closest relatives.

Photo by volker sthamer
Yabello, Ethiopia, December 2009


Acacia scrub at 1300 - 1800m.


Feeds almost exclusively on insects.
Forages on the ground, usually in pairs or groups of 5 or 6 birds. Mixes with other savanna birds like Northern Red-billed Hornbill, Red-billed Buffalo Weaver, Superb Starling and White-crowned Starling.
Breeding starts in late February to early March. They build a globe shaped nest with a tubular top entrance high in an Acacia tree. 5-6 cream eggs with lilac blotches are laid.
A resident species.


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507

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